Get Fit, Get Healthy: The Outdoor Gym

When people think of a workout they often associate that with a long trip to the gym, maybe slogging away on a treadmill or lifting weights.

But getting active can be so much more rewarding than that. It can get you outdoors, and more importantly, connect you with the amazing natural resources we have at our disposal.

Corey Adkins and Michelle Dunaway give us some ideas in this month’s Get Fit, Get Healthy. 

“Summer is a very short window of opportunity. We have to remind ourselves that we’ve got to break those patterns as cave animals where, especially in the wintertime where we have to hunker down," said Mike Sutherland, The River Outfitters owner.

It’s all too easy for Northern Michiganders to stay in hibernation.

On this summer day, there was a little bit of drizzle and that kept most inside, which is why I had to take one for the team. 

And it still wasn’t bad; take it from me, or Mike Sutherland.

"We grew up living outdoors without a television, without cell phones, without computers and it seems like our culture is getting away from that, and so our company is built on getting families and kids especially outside. Let’s get outdoors and let’s have some fun," Mike explained.

Whether it’s on a bicycle, a kayak or a stand up paddleboard, there’s a great way for everyone to get around town and get some exercise.

"This resource that we have in Traverse City with Lake Michigan and the Boardman Valley and the Boardman River that dumps into Lake Michigan right through downtown give us so many opportunities for so many different things," said Mike.

For many this might sound like something just for visitors, but why not take advantage of all we have to offer?

"Tourism is a big part of what we do, but those locals getting outdoors, especially our kids, is where our focus is. Let’s get those kids out in the woods and out on the water," Mike explained.

Because being out here is the best of what Northern Michigan is. It’s why people choose to spend their hard earned vacations "up north."

There’s no better gym than the great outdoors!

"Most of us my age and up we were born in that culture and we’re losing that. We need to all, like, change those patterns and get outdoors and stay healthy and promote that energy to the next generation, because we’re losing it and it’s a shame if we do," said Mike.

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